The story by Barbara Bradley Hagerty, on Bishop Long and the allegations of sex abuse, includes stuff like this:
"...his church holds 'sexual reorientation' seminars which are aimed at, quote 'curing' gay men and lesbians."
Here Hagerty sounds like (again, I'm searching for the right comparison)... like the narrator of a National Geographic special from the 1970s where a sophisticated white anthropologist tries to study, with rigorous lack of bias, a loin-cloth wearing tribe of dark people from Papua New Guinea. It's the same kind of condescending language that has had journalists over the past year writing things like, "...while just 55% of Americans correctly identify President Obama as a Christian." But Hagerty takes condescending pedantry to another level.
My favorite part in this clip is the way the disinterested Hagerty, maintaining the objective tone, reports,
Long's theology comes from a literal reading of the Bible, which condemns gay sex in several places. Butler [the expert professor enlisted by NPR] says unlike many white protestant churches, which have fierce debates about interpreting those passages, most black churches don't.
I love that. I'd like to be privy to those "fierce debates" in white churches: what are they debating? Is it really that difficult to "interpret" the condemnations of homosexuality in the Bible? What happens if you read those as symbolic, non-literal passages? Am I to believe that "white churches" view the references to homosexuality in these passages as metaphors? For what?!
Anyway, I'm not interested in what the Bible says about homosexuality. I just get a kick out of NPR's affected tone of tolerance, its anthropological approach, in reporting on religious people.